Chapter 194: Behind the Door
A minute later, in Room 06.
Baz and Shang Jianyao sat down with their arms around each other’s shoulders. Their attitude was so intimate that it seemed as if they had reunited with a long-lost brother. This completely deviated from the Vigilance Church’s creed of ‘distance is the true friend.’
“You aren’t lying to us, right?” Shang Jianyao asked without hiding anything.
Baz immediately revealed an aggrieved expression. “How is that possible? I will lie to anyone but you! I almost died this morning; those bastards actually got into my tunnels. Fortunately, I prepared more than three tunnels.”
Upon hearing Baz, a sentence surfaced in Long Yuehong’s mind: “A wily rabbit has three burrows.”
Shang Jianyao asked, “Are you sure they are Anhebus’s subordinates?”
“Of course!” Baz was very sure. “The leader is his most capable goon; he came from United Industries. He’s tall and muscular, so I can’t be mistaken. I didn’t pay attention to the others. If I were a little slower back then, I would’ve been caught!”
“How tall?” Shang Jianyao’s focus finally turned aberrant.
“A little taller than you. He’s the only one with such a height in Redstone Collection,” Baz described. “His name is Lopez; he used to be an employee of a security company in United Industries. Later, he fled here for some reason.”
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and suddenly asked, “Why didn’t you directly go to the cathedral and find Bishop Renato? He should handle this matter, right? Or you could enter Redstone Collection and find Han Wanghuo?”
Baz looked around warily. “It’s useless with Han Wanghuo! If it weren’t for the fact that he’s famous for being impartial and won’t betray us and how he can organize both Red River people and Ashlanders to deal with those ugly bastards and bandits that come running over, no one would listen to him.
“For trivial matters like maintaining order, everyone can still cut him some slack. They are also willing to accept a certain level of punishment if they make a mistake. But for such a major matter, Anhebus will only be afraid of powerful groups and their representatives.”
Jiang Baimian immediately added, “For example, the Underground Ark and its representative, Butler Carl. Or the Vigilance Church and its representative, Bishop Renato?”
“Yes.” Baz exhaled. “I was worried that I would be attacked on the way to the cathedral. They might already be lying in ambush around the cathedral, so I thought of you. I hope you can sneak me into the cathedral.”
At this point, Baz stood up. “Forget it; forget it. I can’t involve you. There are only four of you, and it’s not enough to handle Anhebus and his subordinates’ focused fire. I’ll think of a way to hide. I’ll sneak to the cathedral when things calm down.”
He had said these words to Shang Jianyao as if he didn’t want to implicate the other party due to their brotherly affection.
Shang Jianyao was touched. “Won’t you be in danger?” He really seemed to treat the other party as a brother.
Sensing his sincerity, Baz proudly said, “In the past three hiding Masses, I’ve entered the top five twice. In other words, there are only a few people in Redstone Collection who are better at hiding than me.”
“Impressive!” Shang Jianyao clapped.
Jiang Baimian pondered for a moment and said, “Let’s take you to the cathedral. We were just about to visit Bishop Renato.”
The matter regarding Redstone Collection seemed to have gotten out of control a little. It was better to communicate with their real mayor, Bishop Renato, as soon as possible. Otherwise, they would be implicated once things got out of hand.
Bai Chen and Long Yuehong didn’t object to their team leader’s decision. Shang Jianyao even raised his hands and feet in agreement.
Before getting into the car, they took out the Tyrant grenade launcher and the Death rocket launcher and placed them in a convenient spot.
“You have pretty good firepower.” Baz—who was squeezed between Shang Jianyao and Long Yuehong—suddenly felt a little more confident. “Have the vehicles been modified as well? The armor seems pretty thick, and the glass seems to be bulletproof.”
As Helvig’s trusted aide, he had keen eyes in this regard.
“We came to Redstone Collection to buy a military exoskeleton,” Jiang Baimian said simply.
On the one hand, it was to showcase the goal of Qian Bai’s team, which was the Old Task Force. It also indirectly indicated their strength. On the other hand, they hoped that Baz—a native that was familiar with local arms transactions—could provide the corresponding intelligence.
“That’s very difficult to buy. They are all reserved by major customers,” said Baz. “Even for major customers, it’s not easy to reserve them, especially the latest models. Even United Industries’ elite teams have to wait in line.”
As they spoke, Bai Chen started the car and drove toward the Vigilance Cathedral north of the city ruin.
Jiang Baimian understood what Baz meant and thought for a moment. “Any solutions for the old models?”
“There are some in the Underground Ark, but nobody can enter. Mr. DiMarco won’t sell them either.” Baz shook his head. “My boss and Anhebus used to have some, but we didn’t keep any.”
At this point, he lowered his voice. “The town guards that Han Wanghuo organized have two; AC-42 General.”
“This is the oldest model, right?” Jiang Baimian had also done some research on military exoskeleton equipment.
“Pretty much,” Baz explained simply. “Two years ago, the merfolk and mountain monsters recovered and teamed up to drive us out of Redstone Collection. The situation was critical, and Mr. DiMarco was unwilling to send his guards out of the Underground Ark. Therefore, Han Wanghuo organized everyone and gathered a batch of supplies. He then forced Boss and Anhebus to use up all their favors and got two Gramps from a warehouse in United Industries.
“It was actually quite useful!”
“Maybe it’s Granny.” Shang Jianyao expressed his opinion.
Jiang Baimian ignored him and looked at the rearview mirror before sighing. “These are powerful weapons used to guard Redstone Collection. Han Wanghuo probably won’t sell them.”
“Yes.” It was unknown if Baz was grumbling or if he was impressed. “Besides, he’s not greedy for benefits and can’t be bribed.”
Jiang Baimian nodded thoughtfully. “Everyone I met at Redstone Collection has a high evaluation of Han Wanghuo.”
Even Mrs. Theresa only felt that Han Wanghuo might be biased toward the Ashlanders and didn’t think there was anything wrong with him.
“Otherwise, he wouldn’t be the sheriff and town guard captain to this day,” said Baz without praise or derision.
“It really isn’t easy for an outsider.” Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged this.
The jeep soon arrived at the northern city area near the Vigilance Cathedral.
Jiang Baimian observed the environment outside and suddenly pointed at a spot. “Stop there.”
Bai Chen didn’t ask why and quietly drove the jeep to the side of an abandoned high-rise building.
Jiang Baimian then turned around and said to Long Yuehong, “We’ve previously reconnoitered the terrain. We can monitor the area around the cathedral from here. Go to the roof with Bai Chen and use the Orange rifle and Death rocket launcher to help us guard against any accidents.”
“Yes, Team Leader!” Long Yuehong was no longer a rookie; he no longer trembled in fear.
Jiang Baimian exhorted him, “You guys have to be careful too.”
This place was already in the suburbs, and there weren’t many high-rise buildings. If Anhebus’s men wanted to snipe Baz, they might very well be on the top of that building.
“It’s time to test your stamina.” Shang Jianyao smiled and waved at Long Yuehong.
This high-rise building—covered in withered plants—with few intact windows was most likely not where Redstone townsfolk lived. Therefore, there was no electricity or elevators.
Long Yuehong also had to carry the Death rocket launcher and the corresponding ammunition up.
Fortunately, the building wasn’t too tall. It was only about 20 stories tall. When Long Yuehong arrived at the rooftop, his breathing was only a little heavy. His legs were a little sore, but he didn’t feel any other discomfort.
On the rooftop covered in bird feces, he and Bai Chen found a spot each. They placed the Orange rifle and Death rocket launcher on the guardrail and covered the different areas around the Vigilance Cathedral in their firing range.
After she was in position, Bai Chen picked up the walkie-talkie and said, “In position. You may proceed.”
Jiang Baimian put away the walkie-talkie and alighted from the jeep.
As they were going to visit Bishop Renato, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao didn’t bring their grenade launchers or assault rifles. They only took an additional United 202 each as backup.
This allowed them to maintain their mobility. Together with Baz, they bent their backs slightly and approached the Vigilance Cathedral in the abandoned buildings’ shadows.
They left the broken cement columns, the rubber electric wires without any metallic cores, the glass shards that had been embedded into the soil, and the concrete blocks piled up behind them one after another.
After more than ten minutes, they arrived at the fortress-like Vigilance Cathedral and flipped through the window at the back of the two-story building.
After standing firmly and looking around, Jiang Baimian said in a deep voice, “There was no attack…”
She felt like she was fighting the air for a while.
“Impossible…” Baz expressed his confusion. Has Anhebus already given up? Isn’t he afraid that the bishop will be angry?
“It means that we hid well,” Shang Jianyao praised himself.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian suddenly took two steps to the side and pushed open a black wooden door.
Behind the door was a Vigilance Cathedral guard in a dark robe holding an assault rifle.
“Where’s Bishop Renato?” Jiang Baimian asked in Red River language.
The guard pointed at the corridor outside. “In his room. Walk toward the main hall; it’s the room behind the Kalendaria’s Sacred Emblem.”
“Is that so?” Jiang Baimian turned to ask Baz.
“Yes.” Baz indicated that it was indeed Bishop Renato’s bedroom.
The three of them didn’t delay and immediately walked along the corridor toward the cathedral hall.
Before long, they saw the area on the side of the hall and the wall with the Kalendaria’s Sacred Emblem.
After arriving at the place described by the guard, Jiang Baimian easily recognized Renato’s room.
Like the corresponding elements in the Sacred Emblem symbol, his door was painted pure white with a golden handle.
Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao looked at each other and nodded at the same time. This meant that there was someone in the room.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Baz knocked on the door and shouted, “Your Grace, I have something to talk about.”
The room was silent; nobody replied.
Baz shouted twice and muttered to himself in confusion, “Nobody?”
As he spoke, he turned the doorknob and pushed the door open.
This was considered rude elsewhere, but it was normal in Redstone Collection, where people often had to search for their own targets.
The moment the white wooden door opened, Jiang Baimian felt her vision suddenly turn dark. It was as if the lightless environment in the room had flowed out and drowned the corridor.
In the endless darkness, a feminine figure stood behind the door and looked out.
For some reason, Jiang Baimian felt that the female figure’s silent gaze was close yet distant. It was so close that it felt like they were inches apart, yet it also seemed like it was far out on the horizon.
When such a gaze landed on her, Jiang Baimian felt like someone had poured a basin of cold water over her in winter. She felt a chill run down her spine and couldn’t help but shiver.
This reminded her of Swamp Ruin 1 and the monster in the mysterious laboratory. Its roar alone could make people in the distance tremble in fear. It was abnormally terrifying and uncontrollable.
Unlike the monster’s roar, the current gaze was lofty, empty, indifferent, and dignified. It made one unable to raise any thoughts of resistance.
The next second, the feeling vanished. The darkness was melted away by the sun as if it had never appeared.
Jiang Baimian abruptly turned her head to look at Shang Jianyao and realized that his forehead was covered in sweat.